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Balancing Act

It’s Friday night. Mike is in his art studio [read: the corner of our living room between his bookcase of school books and my bookcase of plays, where he keeps his easel and paints set up over a tarp on the floor so he doesn’t have to worry about spilling paint. It is my favorite corner in our apartment] and I have, so far, spent my entire evening wandering aimlessly, nervously, unable to sit and write even though it is the only thing I have wanted to do all day. See, I had a schedule today. I started out my week with a precise schedule that I had written to help me manage my time. There are only a few things in life I really care to spend my time on, but there are lots of things I am obligated to spend time on. I need a schedule to help me trudge through the have-to things so I can spend more time on the want-to things.

I’m going to have to go way back to the beginning here, because you probably have no idea what I’m talking about.

Shortly after Christmas whirled past, (really? Has it really been weeks since Christmas? Because I still have a stack of un-mailed, un-written Christmas cards) I decided I was absolutely done feeling like there aren’t enough hours in the day. I finally learned how to be punctual, and oh my goodness, it feels good. Now I wanted to learn how to manage my time. So I created a schedule that includes an hour a day for yoga, an hour a day for writing, time to prepare meals and walk the dogs, time to primp, time to read, time to work, to every season, turn, turn, turn. (Name that song and I’ll give you a high-five.)  By writing out, hour by hour, all the things I want and am obligated to do in a day, I proved to myself that there really are enough hours in the day to do it all. My goals were not too steep. I decided to start living this schedule the first Monday after the New Year.

That was this past Monday. Not a single day have I managed to follow my new schedule. Monday came pretty close, except that I over-worked and by the time I came home I was so exhausted I couldn’t do anything that required moving my butt off the couch. Every day after that I over-slept in the mornings, over-worked all day, and came home too tired to move. I fell asleep in front of the television every night this week, slept terribly, and couldn’t get up in the mornings. Then when I finally found a few hours to write tonight, I spent most of them wandering aimlessly around my apartment unable to focus.

How do you do it? How do you balance work, chores, exercise, romance, and play? Because I can’t figure it out.

About – Jan. 2010

My name is Patricia Frost. In February of 2007, after less than a year of marriage, my husband and I moved from Los Angeles, California to New York City because I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life wondering what would have happened if I’d moved to New York.  Now I know. It’s been a wild adventure and we’re looking forward to getting back to California as soon as we can scrounge up enough dough.  We check our couch cushions daily.

I grew up in a suburb outside of Los Angeles, like omigawd, three malls within walking distance of my house. My favorite mall, The Topanga Mall, was renovated recently and now when I go there I feel lost and confused. Luckily I don’t go there very often since I live 3,000 miles away in a place that rains year round, is cold nine months out of the year and doesn’t have any malls at all. I only mention the stuff about the rain and the malls because when we moved here I didn’t know that there were cities in this country that lack malls, yet have year round rain.  The revelation was actually painful.

If it weren’t for my husband Michael, a full-time student and NYC EMT, I don’t think I would have survived the first two years we were in this crazy city. Through thick and thin he’s been my best friend, my biggest fan, he’s picked me up and dusted me off and he’s forced me to move on. He makes me a better person.

Mike and I live in a spacious and sunny apartment in Harlem.  We have three closets and a bathroom sink.  In case you weren’t aware, in Manhattan bathroom sinks and closets are considered really fantastic amenities.  We share this fabuslous amentitied apartment with two dogs, two cats and a python.  We spend eight hours a week vacuuming up pet hair.  That’s not even an exaggeration.

I am a writer, an actor, a Certified Family Law Paralegal and a traveling sales girl.  I earned a BFA from a university-accredited art conservatory, where I spent four years rolling around on the floor in white body make-up making funny noises.  My college transcripts include yoga, tai chi, Punk Writing, Queer Books and Singing For Actors.  In the future I’d like to go back to school and study science.  I’ve always liked looking at the insides of things.

I love Neutral Milk Hotel, The Bangkok Five, and Trent Reznor.  I collect photos of dead animals, I love poop jokes and I frequently say inappropriate things. I hate high heels and fancy clothes.  Cocktail parties and dinner parties terrify me because I always end up being the weird girl alone in the corner with stains on her dress and runs in her stockings.  I’d rather stay home with good friends than go out for a night on the town.  I want to have a baby so badly that sometimes I think my ovaries are talking to me. I miss The Valley.

In addition to A Serious Girl, I edit, compile and write for Ron and Robert on Divorce, a blog that provides information and education to families in crisis.  I also take care of the blog for A Tail At A Time, a NYC based animal rescue.  I started writing my first blog, Frosty-licious, in May of 2007, just three months after moving thousands of miles away from my roots. At first I used blogging as a way to whine about how awful my first-world problems were. After a while I started writing instead of whining and before I knew it writing became my sanctuary.  This blog is my sanctuary.  Thank you for reading.